News & Messages

Quilting as an Act of Prayer and Stewardship

Starting as a priest in a new parish always has its challenges, but starting at a new parish during a pandemic is particularly difficult. The Rev. Mary Trainor began serving at St. Francis, Menomonee Falls just as the coronavirus hit causing St. Francis to begin worshipping online. She is certainly adjusting to practicing ministry with the people of St. Francis remotely and getting to know members and the community in a whole new way.

In her spare time, Pastor Mary enjoys quilting. During this time when we're all spending more time at home, Pastor Mary has begun quilting orange stoles, much like the stole that Bishop Miller wears during the online diocesan worship services. Like Bishop Miller's stole, Pastor Mary is creating her stoles as a witness against gun violence. So far, she has made four stoles for clergy in three churches. She makes them with beautiful scraps of cotton quilting fabric. She sees making quilts from scraps both as an act of prayer and stewardship. Inside two of the stoles are white fabric with scripture verses. Each stole is unique and reversible; she designs them herself. Pastor Mary does both hand and machine quilting, and she prays as she crafts the stoles. She also appreciates that the unique color of the stole — orange — brings questions from congregation members, providing an opportunity to witness against gun violence.

Prayers for the United Methodist Church

Please keep the United Methodist Church (UMC) in your prayers February 23-26 as they meet in their special worldwide General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. The UMC has struggled for decades with many of the same issues around human sexuality that the Episcopal Church has. This special conference is focused on trying to find a way forward.

The results of this convention could radically change the structure and discipline of the UMC, which will determine the shape of the church that the Episcopal Church is seeking to enter full communion with. The UMC is a multi-national church with voting membership from all over the world. Please pray for our Methodist sisters and brothers as they struggle in much the same way as our own church has over the last few decades.
Here’s an RNS article that lays out some of the options.
Suggested Prayer:

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in the Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church. Grant them discernment. Help them in all things to seek first your honor and glory. As there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, help us to support our sisters and brothers in Christ as they seek to be your faithful servants. All this we pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
Rector, St. Matthias Episcopal Church
President, Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers